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UAE-made Filipino film ‘Lamentasyon’ set to release

The film, which will host its premiere in Dubai on November 15, delves into the lives of expat workers

  • Dexter Dalisay.Image Credit:
  • Emil Barcenilla.Image Credit:

The first feature film entirely shot and produced in Dubai by an all-Filipino expatriate cast and crew will release in UAE theatres in December.

The makers of Lamentasyon, an independent movie, will host an invite-only screening on November 15 at Vox Cineplex Grand Hyatt.

“We will release the movie to coincide with the Metro Manila Film Festival in the Philippines in December,” director Archie Enriquez said in an interview with Gulf News tabloid!. The release is an attempt by the makers to bring quality cinematic features to the UAE.

Lamentasyon refers to the act of expressing grief, a theme the movie adopts as it delves into the lives of many Filipino expatriates in the UAE.

“We titled our film Lamentasyon because we overseas Filipino workers [OFWs] experience [a longing for] our loved ones and that’s what makes us grieve,” said Enriquez.

The filmmaker, who won best director and best film awards for the short film Kaarawan in the fourth edition of Emirates Short Film Festival (ESFF) in February, said it’s about time a full-length film produced by OFWs was made.

The movie tells the story of Samuel, a young expatriate in Dubai who has to deal with financial obligations and a bizarre roommate, Mang Gerry. Samuel experiences strange occurrences that make him distrustful of everyone, including himself. He gets help from Mang Gerry, who seems to be aware of his problems.

Samuel is played by Dexter Dalisay, a Dubai-based industrial engineer and model, while Emil Barcenilla, a well-known personality within Filipino entertainment circles in Dubai, plays Mang Gerry.

“We really underestimated doing a full-length movie, however, we managed to do it with the help of all the cast and crew — they put their hearts and their dedication to the project and we finished the project eventually with smiling faces,” Enriquez said.

Presented by APE & Company in partnership with Animo Events, the film is based on true stories of Filipino expats and their quest to improve the lives of their families in the Philippines.

Lamentasyon also features other well-known personalities within the Filipino community in the UAE such as Yasmin Balajadia-Cortez, Rico Mondejar, Josie Romulo, Bengs Hyu, Carl Quion and Dannabelle Guiterrez.